I am on the road today and it is Morgan’s 21st birthday. Of course I would prefer to be home to do my usual mom “special treatment” for her. Ridley and I try very hard to be home for the special moments. We have tried to learn how to balance home and travel well. When we are home, we are selfishly home and actually have more time with our kids than we did before we started traveling. However, I was worried I might wake up feeling guilty this morning. Instead I woke up grateful.
Morgan has been the constant in my crazy, changing world. She has been there for me so many times as a reminder that God loves me. She is a young woman now and I love that she is living out her own dreams and purpose. This morning I woke up with the memories of her 2nd birthday.
It had been a day where I faked some of the happy. I was happy to have her but I was a newly single mom. I was more concerned about how I was going to care for her than I was about what kind of party she was going to have. The world felt heavy and I was drowning in disappointment. Being Morgan’s mom kept me going.
The party was over and the guests were gone. The emptiness and the quiet of our home was a reminder of reality. I tucked the birthday girl in bed with cute blonde curls that had made it all day. Those sweeet little hands cupped my face and pulled me close. The usual bedtime love and snuggle was familiar and comforting for me. I retreated to my room desperate to sleep and not think. Storms outside had started brewing. The eerie lightening and sounds of thunder seemed symbolic of my own personal storm and fear.
Moments passed and the pitter patter of little feet were headed my way. I didn’t allow Morgan to sleep in my bed but the combination of the storm and her birthday were great excuses for “this one time”. It was quiet in between the thunder, but the lightening would eluminate the room and her blonde hair would shine. Every so often I would hear this sweet little “Cheese”. She repeated it over and over. I finally asked Morgan what she was doing and she said, “Mommy, when it flashes, smile because God is taking our picture”. Tears quietly rolled down my cheek.
This morning a tear rolls again as I remember a step of healing in that moment. With a two year old child, I was reminded there was a God but I didn’t know Him like I do now. In the middle of the storm and fear, Morgan reminded me of the God who loved us. Fast forward through many more storms and I would find Morgan once again reminding me of the God who loved us. Even in the darkest moments, His light would shine on us and my sweet Morgie would be there reminding me to smile and say “Cheese” because He was taking our picture.
As I trace Morgan’s 21 years, it is hard to deny the pictures of His grace. Despite my selfishness, my fears, and my momma mess ups, He has given me a daughter who loves me and more importantly loves Him. I am grateful for the blessings and the lessons. Happy Birthday to you, Morgan. I love you. “CHEESE!”